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Canadian Diesel Experience.

Stewart-DB; Mogan-JP; Dainty-EB
NIOSH 1982 Oct:76-90
The Canadian experience with using diesel equipment in underground coal mines was discussed. Most of the Canadian experience with using diesel equipment underground has been obtained in noncoal (mineral) mining activities. The use of diesel engines in Canadian coal mines has never been as popular as in mineral mines. The types of underground diesel equipment used in Canadian mines were summarized. Forty diesel powered units were used in Canadian underground coal mines, versus 3,111 units in mineral mining operations. Fire and explosion hazards associated with using diesel engines were discussed. It was felt that high localized temperatures in the crank case, heat generated by friction and impact surfaces, and ingestion of explosive methane and air mixtures could constitute an explosion hazard. Exhaust treatment systems for diesel engines were discussed. These include water bath conditioners, catalytic purifiers, and exhaust filters. The experiences obtained with diesels and methods used to control diesel engine emissions at the Ontario division of Inco Metals Company, Sudbury, Ontario, were described. Inco used 571 diesel units in their underground operations. Most of the units were powered by air cooled indirect injection engines equipped with precombustion swirl chambers. Only Number 1 diesel fuel with a 0.2 percent sulfur content was burned. Control methods included catalytic exhaust purifiers, training operators and mechanics in proper operation and maintenance of diesel engines, strictly adhering to an engine inspection and maintenance program, using highly efficient mechanical ventilation systems, and conducting daily and weekly ambient air gas tests and ventilation measurements. All miners in Ontario were given annual chest x-rays by the Workmen's Compensation Board. No evidence of adverse health effects resulting from underground diesel engine exposure has been seen over the past 11 years. The authors conclude that on the basis of the experience obtained in mineral mines, diesel equipment can be used economically and safely in underground coal mines. A transcript of a question and answer session was included.
Coal-mining; Underground-mining; Diesel-exhausts; Mining-equipment; Occupational-health; Fire-hazards; Control-methods
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 82-122
Source Name
Proceedings of a Workshop on the Use of Diesel Equipment in Underground Coal Mines, Morgantown, West Virginia, September 19-23, 1977; Morgantown, West Virginia, NIOSH
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division